JONES APPAREL UPDATE ON EARNINGS: Jones Apparel Group Inc. said Monday it expected fourth-quarter 2006 results to include a pretax, noncash charge of approximately $491.4 million for the impairment of goodwill and trademarks primarily in the company’s wholesale moderate apparel segment. The company completed its review per accounting requirements for goodwill and other intangible assets. The pretax impairment charge of $441.2 million of the noncash component is in connection with the company’s 2001 acquisition of McNaughton Apparel Group Inc. and its 2002 acquisition of RSV Sport Inc., known as the l.e.i. business. The balance of the pretax, noncash charge of $50.2 million relates to the impairment of trademarks, primarily attributable to the Norton McNaughton brand. Peter Boneparth, chief executive officer, said in a statement that “declining revenues and profitability with respect to Norton McNaughton, l.e.i. and certain of our other moderate price-point brands, along with changes in business strategy with respect to the Norton McNaughton brand, necessitate the recognition of a goodwill and trademark impairment.” Jones expects to report a net loss for the 2006 fourth quarter and full year of $2.48 per share and $1.27 per share, respectively. The company will post financial results for the fourth quarter and full year on Feb. 14.
NEW FASHION WEEK: IMG is bringing Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week to Berlin, starting July 12 to 15 for the spring 2008 season. In Berlin, IMG expects to stage 12 to 15 runway shows of German designers as well as selected international designers. An advisory committee will help judge the participants. The City of Berlin has set aside a budget of 500,000 euros, or about $645,000, to help support the runway presentations of young designers. The venue will be Berlin’s famous Brandenburg Gate, with the runway extending through the historical landmark. Mercedes has signed on for five years, according to Olaf Göttgens, vice president brand communications for Mercedes-Benz.